Don't Ask Us to Violate FTC Rules and Break the Law [ARCHIVED]


#1

I don’t think I’m going to be OUT of LINE here by suggesting BUYERS need to apply some “common sense,” in dealing with Fiverr SELLERS.



I’m sure there’s plenty of people that will be willing to do anything for money, I’m just not one of them.



Case in point, a REALTOR called me in tears in December. She was given bad advice by a freelancer that sold her a stack of EDU back links and 5,000 links to other websites. This was April, 2012. She rose to page one #5 on Google.



Then in May, 2012 Google comes out with an algorithmic change called PENGUIN and a few weeks later, she receives an email from Google simply stating her website no longer complied with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.



Her website was banished from page one to page 37. Overnight, her business tanked. Today, she ranks on page 63. And still falling like a rock.



If this wasn’t bad enough, she received two videos posing as home buyers. They claimed she (the agent) did a great job at helping them buy a home. Whoops. Instant train wreck.



Because she was page one visible on Google, naturally other REALTORs went to her site and were shocked to see obvious freelancer talent on her site disguised as home buyers. There’s just one problem with this. She did not state anywhere on the Website they were ACTORS and she passed them off as genuine bona fide home buyers.



The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has helped pass laws on deceptive advertising practices. The sale of Real Estate in the U.S. is controlled by the government. REALTORs cannot use false advertising with people claiming they bought homes from an agent in order to deceive other buyers into buying a home from said agent.



Right now her license is suspended. But it can get much, much worse.



Her license could be revoked permanently and even worse, the District Attorney can file criminal charges against her. That means a Class 3 Felony, jail time and / or a fine up to $500,000 or more.



Lying for profit is not cool. When the love of LIKEs turn into LIES… everybody loses.



I think it’s time we as SELLERS recognize when a BUYER is asking us to do something patently WRONG or illegal. And we can politely refuse the job whenever we are asked without worry.



I should be able to reject job offers (without penalty or lower rankings) that come in that are obviously asking us to LIE for them as we create deceptive advertising materials for their website.



What do the rest of you feel on this subject?



#2

I’m confident Fiverr will set up a filter / exception to this soon. It’s in the best interest of both Fiverr Seller and Buyer to police this better.



I’m also curious to know when , if ever, Fiverr is going to ban Sellers from offering services like 5,000 edu back links when this practice is now forbidden from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.


#3

Interesting story…The last spring was very hard time for thousands of websites due to new Google algorithmic…She did a wrong step and paid for it with her business…

Video testimonials are very tricky…This is why i would never do stuff like that because it’s pure lie)) And God tell us not to lie))


#4

@oldbittygrandma off topic here, but if you have an IMDB page I would be promoting the page if I was you. I’ve done this for Hollywood agents acting (excuse the pun) on behalf of actors and actresses and if you can get that page to rank you might get more work out of it on Fiverr. This is not a service I offer on here and I am just making a suggestion.


#5

Reply to @madmoo: That’s a good way to go about it I don’t do video testimonials but I imagine i will be somepoint in the future, and when I do it will only be for products or services I can see provide value to the public, if what your selling or promoting is garbage, fake or just plan “insert foul scottish language here” then I aint putting my face/name/voice to it.


#6

Should my news reporting gigs include some sort of disclaimer that the person in front of the camera is an actor. Even if check the script and content before actor tells it in to camera, I can’t always tell for what purpose they are made. The most desirable are the happy birthday contents, but some promote their books, web pages… and stuff.


#7

Reply to @markp: Hey Mark, sorry to jump in on a conversation here but I’m just curious to know what you mean by promote an IMDB page. Is it just mentioning it in any channels I’m involved with and getting people to check it out or is there something more specific to it?



I’m an actor too but my IMDB is kind of just there. I wasn’t involved in setting it up it just appeared after a job I worked on and did it’s own thing. I actually found myself on it when looking at other stuff by spotting someone I’d worked with, seeing a film I was in on his page and then seeing myself having been credited.


#8

vpix360 I would definitely like to see a way of avoiding a gig on moral grounds. I’m a newbie here so apologies if I’m a bit naive to how things work but what I did was request that people contact me so I can review their script. Even so not everyone does this, they just order off the bat.



As far as the content I would agree oldbittygrandma in the sense that I am an actor and performing scripts and being other people is my job. I would definitely like ways to reject jobs that I deem unethical but I don’t think an actor should be held responsible for how a client uses their work.



You make some great points though and I look foward to hearing more about the subject!


#9

first congrats to @vpix360 for writing a topic that got a lot of response. Aside from the obvious issues of intent, jurisdiction, and that in my city the police won’t even take a report on anything related to the internet - “Report it to the FTC” is the mantra - that makes criminality of what the customer did a stretch that would strain a Law and Order script (but not an NCIS one), I’m with @oldbittygrandma. Who are we to police the customers website and how would a seller force the buyer to put an actor use statement on their website? Not practical and not fair to anyone. Like forcing someone to commit to not robbing a bank because they bought my car as the getaway vehicle. Once he’s got the pink slip, how am I to know what the buyer’s going to do?


#10

@rory88 fill out everything on that page. put links to every film and TV show you have been in on the page (linking to them on IMDB) and put a photo of yourself on the page as well. The way the pages rank on IMDB itselt means it is very easy to get a huge jump in ranking with little outside work and getting a lot of views to them certainly helps. outside of IMDB you just need to do the same ( get traffic to the page)


#11

I don’t really understand why people really want those video testimonials from a person who know nothing about product most of the time or why they want fake hits on their site to up their ranking with Google. Let the buyer do the job with “words of mouth”. If your product or service worth it you’ll be in limelight sooner or later, you just need to have lots of patience. Anyway these things are in fashion.


#12

Reply to @markp: Thanks for the info man! I really appreciate it!


#13

I’ve refused a lot of times jobs that were violating laws or simply my rules…

I was asked to develop keyloggers, password stealers, bots to post thousands of fake articles/posts on many blogs… and I refused just because I think this is wrong. Some buyer took this bad and offended me, so I had to ask help to Customer Support.

Don’t mentioning illegal things I was asked…



You’re completely right: don’t do anything that violates laws or your moral rules… never mind money!!!



I completely agree about the fact that we should have a way to refuse a job (because we are not able to do the gig, because we don’t want to do the gig, because buyer ordered without contacting us) without receive penalties (loosing level, not getting higher level and so on…)


#14

I don’t feel sorry for the realtor lady. A large portion of the course materials for realtors covers advertising and claims, etc. and frankly, the SEO stuff is just straight out cheating.



I had to scratch and claw my way over other blogs and websites to get on the first page of my search terms (usually in the first two results) I did that by writing content, using the proper alt tags on images and videos, and being of value to front end users. It may take a little time, but it works.


#15

I don’t feel sorry for the realtor lady. A large portion of the course materials for realtors covers advertising and claims, etc. and frankly, the SEO stuff is just straight out cheating.



I had to scratch and claw my way over other blogs and websites to get on the first page of my search terms (usually in the first two results) I did that by writing content, using the proper alt tags on images and videos, and being of value to front end users. It may take a little time, but it works.


#16

People always ask me to do things I don’t agree to after buying the gig I just tell them I am canceling and I didn’t agree to this . People will say hey just skype with me etc call stupid stuff


#17

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#18

Reply to @oldbittygrandma: I 100% agree with you, I am not a lawyer, and know nothing of realtor laws, etc. It’s not the sellers just to give you legal advice, not mention giving legal advice without a licence is ILLEGAL. We are actors/actresses providing a service a buyer requests. It’s not our job to baby sit you, and hold your hand.



@vpix360 Too often, I feel it’s the buyers fault for failing to read the Fiverr’s Terms of Service that’s the biggest issue. When you signed up for Fiverr, you have have marked that you ‘read’ the terms of service, don’t blame another user for something that you failed to recognize on your own. Instead of taking responsibly for your own faults or actions, you’re just blaming other people, who in the end of just providing a service. They are users just like you. It’s not Fiverrs job to give you legal advice, they actually opt out of legal responsibility when, again, you agreed to the Terms of Service during sign up. This goes for all site you are an active user of like Facebook or Google. It’s the users responsibility to read the Terms of Service. If you fail to actually read it, I doesn’t matter. You marked that you read it, and you then accepting responsibility for your actions on that platform from that point on. Terms of any multi-million/billion dollar company are so well written you have zero chance of getting out of any ‘mistakes’ you ‘unknowingly’ make from your agreement onward.



You can reject any job offer you please, it’s called ‘cancelling’ your order. No one here is making you do anything you don’t want to do. No one is holding a gun to your head. Just take it with stride, I have yet to see a commercial on tv that isn’t speaking from false experience, that’s why they call them actors. Even weight watcher has a small asterisk in their commercials that say ‘results not typical’.


#19

just had a guy today asked me 4 times for me to phone him I kept saying you are a risk to my business this is against fiverr policy please do not ask for me to call you again.



next sentence ok just call me and we can discuss the order…



BLOCKED


#20

Reply to @matt_garry: I have received offers like this also. I keep explaining that it is against Fiverr policy and that I won’t work outside of here. My next sentence usually tells the person that if they are not willing to work through here that I am sorry that I cannot help them.



Another problem I have had lately is people contacting me to do illegal stuff. I got contacted a week ago to create a couple of documents. I can do that easily. I got to asking some questions and found out the person wanted me to take college degrees and change the names on them. Denied. I told him this was illegal and I would not do it.



Today I got another. I got asked to completely reword someone’s book so that it could be published and not considered plagiarized. My response was to tell the person that it was still stealing. It is one thing to reword a paragraph for a paper and another to completely reword a whole book so that you can publish it and make money.



There ought to be a way that Fiverr can help protect their sellers. It is a shame that a site with this much potential can’t provide more security.